Since it is not easy to set up a business, many project leaders invite startup incubators to easily start their business in France. Above all encouraging innovative projects, these coaches are a real support at the time the company is set up and throughout its life. Before choosing one of these private or public structures, you should know the admission requirements that must be met…
The role of the incubator
Also known as a “business incubator”, it is a structure that supports newly established or under construction companies. Accompanies innovative project leaders to enable them to implement it through the creation of a successful company.
A private or public support structure helps you meet all the necessary conditions to allow you to start with complete peace of mind. Depending on the services offered and your expectations, it is there in your beginnings, but it can also support you throughout the life of your startup. He can become a real partner, providing you with financing, accommodation, equipment or even relevant advice.
Different types of incubators
Faced with the increasing demand for support while setting up startups, there are different types of business incubators that differ in terms of:
- Admission requirements ;
- Audiences: women, students, etc.;
- Intervention sectors: robotics, digital, biotechnology…;
- Drivers: return on investment, economic development, attractiveness, technology transfer, etc.;
- Operation methods: private, public, public-private, etc.
Taking into account these characteristic factors, we can distinguish 6 families of incubators:
- Private incubators can take the form of accelerators for some. They can benefit from the help of large corporations and general partners. Its structure is created by professional associations, investors, entrepreneurs, etc.
- The so-called “friendly” or public incubators aim to encourage the creation of innovative companies by contributing to the transfer of technologies developed in public research laboratories;
- CEEIs or European Business and Innovation Centers that help project leaders develop new activities for their region. These public bodies benefit from the EU mark and are supported by the European Commission through the EBN;
- Business school incubators that assist students and former students of business schools (ESCP, EM LYON, HEC, etc.). and major engineering colleges (Paris Tech Communications, Polytechnic, Central, etc.). In addition to providing support, they can also encourage students to do;
- Large corporate incubators: using open innovation strategies, some large corporations have set up their own incubators to attract new talent and resources;
- Local authority incubators: depend on a city or region, they contribute to the attractiveness of its territory and its economic or social development.
Incubator integration methods
In order to incorporate the incubator, you must know the method of her selection and the method of her acceptance. These different criteria depend on each organization. Take the time to see if the person you are interested in is choosing companies looking for development, growth, or rather start-ups.
Once determined, admission status generally consists of sending an application file to the chosen structure. If your project is selected, you must present it orally.
5 integration incubators in France
Among the many incubators in France, some of them have proven themselves and are now well known in this field:
Nubbo is an incubator and startup accelerator. Located in Toulouse, it is an expert in the web, chemistry, electronics and biotechnology software sectors. This structure is highly valued and is famous for:
- High financial aid of up to 50,000 euros without personal guarantee, without interest, or participation from the incubator;
- Quality Support: Three years after its inception, more than 90% of incubated startups are still running.
To join the incubation program, candidates must follow the pre-incubation program for one month in order to analyze their idea. Then the most compelling projects integrate the one-year incubation programme. Then a six-month acceleration program is provided that gives access to a financial support of 50,000 euros
Benefiting from an international reputation, the Business and Innovation Center (BIC) in Montpellier was in 2018 the second best start-up incubator in the world. More than 90% of the companies that accompanied it continue to operate after 3 years of existence.
In support of innovative companies, the structure provides its services for 3 to 5 years during the various stages of the company’s maturity:
- Incubation Locations: The Business Information Center has three incubation locations to accommodate every company operating in the clean technology, digital or international sector;
- Free tools: incubators can use the structure’s business plan tool and all its resources;
- Support Reference Trainer: The incubator is assisted in fundraising and also utilizes strategic consulting services.
This program takes into account all sectors of activity if their project is innovative. Many start-ups specializing in cybersecurity, food technology, e-health or the Internet of Things have already been incubated there. Companies that emphasize environmental and societal commitment are particularly favored
With over 460 start-up projects incubated, Agoranov has been awarded the Paris Innovation Label and is thus one of the best Parisian business incubators. It supports companies operating in the green, digital and health technology sectors. LegalTech legalstart.fr is one of the companies they have incubated.
Young entrepreneurs who join her incubation program benefit from a variety of services, such as:
- Accelerator Program: To succeed in raising funds, they are part of a network of investors. They also participate in events and training led by professionals to ensure their skills are developed;
- Business Manager: A communications expert who specializes in the startup company’s area of expertise who is responsible for mentoring the entrepreneur. The latter also benefits from the advice of a team with different profiles and is part of the preschool community of the structure where it can participate;
- Accommodation: In Paris, the incubator provides a working space of 2,300 square meters where the incubator can create her own office or an open office. It also has access to social spaces and meeting rooms.
To join Agoranov, you must submit your application online. When your admissions file is considered, you will be called to give a presentation before a panel of experts. It is up to the latter to make the final decision on whether or not to include you in the nursery program.
In 2015, Paris & Co, the agency for economic development and innovation in Paris, launched Le Tremplin, an incubator dedicated to sports. Today, this support structure has already incubated more than 100 startups. Among these, the company Running Care is developing a health app for runners. During the incubation program, Le Tremplin offers:
- Sports equipment, private offices and open spaces are available on an area of 3,000 square meters;
- A sports venue where training takes place as well as interventions led by professionals. This place is located in the Stade Jean-Bouin, in the 16th arrondissement of Paris;
- A large network that provides access to major account relationships is also available to incubators. This network also helps to take advantage of business opportunities, to accelerate their development and increase their visibility through the press.
- Training in sports professions. The entrepreneur also benefits from the Sports Innovation Awareness Modules.
Le Tremplin support lasts from one to two years without any accommodation costs.
The foster family is located in Paris. To differentiate itself from its competitors, it selects around 50 startups twice a year to support it in its growth. In return, entrepreneurs participate in the incubation program with up to 5% of their capital. They also benefit from fundraising assistance, are intensively trained for six months and accompany them for an unlimited period during their future development. Show Day concludes the nursery program. During this ordeal, the founder presented his project online to the incubator’s investor network.
By incorporating the family, the entrepreneur does not have a place to stay. However, they benefit from volunteer-based support and can freely participate in workshops and conferences of interest to them.